Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A year in books...

Recently, my friend Bobbi blogged about her top picks for books she has read in ’09. Now the first thing I thought as I read Bobbi’s blog was “Whoa! You’ve read 141 books this year?!?!” I think my count for the year tops out somewhere between 30 and 40 books. That being said, this year is probably the first year in MANY, MANY years that I have read with such intense frequency. Growing up, I loved to read. I would often read 2 or 3 books in a weekend (I’m a fast reader) for pleasure, not counting books I was required to read for school.

Then somewhere along the way, my passion for reading seemed to fade. I’m not certain why, because I’ve always loved the mental escape that reading provides, but it always seemed like life got in the way. I would read when I traveled (still is my favorite way to kill time on a plane) or occasionally see a book that I just had to read, but probably averaged no more than 2 books a year!

So what have I been reading this year? A completely random assortment of books on every imaginable subject. I’ve decided to steal Bobbi’s idea and share a list, though I’m putting my own little spin on it.

My Top 5 books for 2009:
(5) The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) – I was required to read this for a class I took fall semester. After reading the book, I easily would put this on the “Must Read” list for all women. The book is a fictional book that takes place in an alternate future in which women become something much worse than second class citizens. It really makes you think about some of the “innocent” fanatics and encourages readers to explore the notion that what may seem harmless today, could quite possibly become something far worse.

(4) Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships! (Kenneth Blanchard) – I thought that this book would be useful to read, considering my major. Additionally, I was taking a communication class that focused on interpersonal communication, so maybe I was just in the mood for this kind of book. This is a fairly easy read, nothing technical. The average person could most likely read it in a single sitting. The focus of the book is about using positive reinforcement to foster better relationships, which is something many of us have heard of. The reason I like this book is because it is able to clarify in very simple terms how to accomplish this, how many of us aren’t accomplishing it (even when we think we are!) and what we’re doing instead.

(3) Lover Eternal (J.R. Ward) – This is the second in a series of books called the Black Dagger Brotherhood. If you enjoy vampire books, you’ll want to check out this series. I will say, the first book in the series, I only thought of as “average” but I am glad that I have continued on in the series. I’ve currently finished 4 of the books, though this book remains my favorite.

(2) Dead to the World (Charlaine Harris) – For the minority of people out there who aren’t reading the Southern Vampire Series (it seems everywhere I turn, people are) this is the fourth book in that series. Why did this one make my list? Because after being teased in the first 3 books, for many readers, this book has some plot payoff! I must say, if you watch the series, True Blood, that is based on this series of books, I strongly encourage you to pick up the books, they are much better!

(1) Dead and Gone (Charlaine Harris) – Yes, I have picked two books from the same series for my top two books, but I really have enjoyed this series thus far. This is book 9 in the series, the last book until May of ’10. I know that some people didn’t enjoy it as much, but I really like this one.

One book that I am a little sad to say didn’t make the list… The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown. I have loved, loved, LOVED Mr. Brown’s work over the last few years… And have been anticipating this book for awhile (it was at one point rumored to be released in ’07, so yes, I’ve waited AWHILE!). I even preordered the book, so I would have it the day it came out.

Unfortunately, it took me a few months to find the time to read it. While I didn’t completely despise the book, I didn’t love it either. Perhaps waiting so long made it hard for the book to live up to it’s hype, but I found this to be a just average read, though the subject is controversial.

Looking into 2010 I have stacks upon stacks of books that I’m trying to wade through… There are two books that I am eagerly anticipating.

First up – Dead in the Family (Charlaine Harris), the latest and greatest Southern Vampire Novel. I read the sneak peak of Chapter 1 on the author’s website earlier this week…. I cannot wait for this book to come out!!!

And second – is more of a wish… a pleading even… to Stephenie Meyer to please go back and finish Midnight Sun, or heck, rewrite the darned thing… I need more Edward!

1 comment:

...... Bobbi said...

The only book on your list I haven't read is "Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships!"

And I feel the same way about "The Lost Symbol" - I love Dan Brown and I love the character of Robert Langdon. But this book made Langdon look like an uneducated joke. What happened to the quick-witted Langdon of "Angels and Demons" or "The Da Vinci Code"??